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post #31 of 34
I know this is an old post, but your post was helpful and I could use advice. I'm a new duck owner and got a flock of six one year old Anconas a little over a week ago. Since day one, one of the females has been limping and rocking heavily back and fourth. Her right leg also swings out when she walks. After contacting the prior owners, it seems to be an injury that happened in transport to my property. It wasn't too bad at first and I let her free range with the others during the day, but after that I restricted all six to a dog run to keep her from running around. Starting today, I have them in a small yard that allows the others to forage but stay close enough for her to be comfortable enough to lay by herself and watch. She still will get up and stay with the flock though, but she's definitely walking with a stagger and will attempt flying instead when the others get too far away. I picked her up once to try looking for an injury and couldn't identify what the problem was. My main issue in treating her is that all the ducks are afraid of me and its hard to get close enough to pick up. I am able to guide them from their daytime yard/run/pasture to their nighttime enclosure in my barn, but getting in grabbing distance is a challenge. Let alone when I finally get her I can't hold her still for long!

How should I go about even attempting treatment on her? Is there a safe way to sedate a duck? I'm also thinking I really do need to just separate her because the two sexually active drakes are not helping, but I'm a bit worried that she'd be too stressed from separation. I was also considering separating the two drakes apart from the four females. Really, any advice on how to proceed would be appreciated! I feel I could do the splint if I had a cooperating duck as I'm experienced in similar first aid on dogs, but ducks are completely new to me

I did also start dissolving 100mg niacin per gallon of water to their night time drinking water four nights ago, but have seen no improvement
post #32 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duck Drover View Post

I don't know how tbese ducks did but I have managed to cast a duck's broken leg using paper tape from tne Dollar Tree and it mended successsfully. I was initially afraid she would end up crippled or that I would have to cull her but I decided there was nothing to lose and I did the best I could. It was hard to set the bone because it was splintered and broken tbrough completely so tbat it was poking out of the leg without breaking tbe skin. Anything that was punctured internally healed while the bone healed.

I started by rolling the leg to position the bone the best I could and taped the femur in place without using any kind of splint. I added a layer at a time around the femur and then immobilized the joint by bending it under the hen and taping around her body like a sling. I wraped the ankle joint in a position that allowed her to balance and bear some weight on it without allowing it to move. Then I kept her inside in a plastic tub with a towel under her and dishes of food and water within reach. In the beginning I did not give her room to turn around but later gave her more room to move. I was afraid tnat tok much movement would keep the bone from mending. A friend of mine bad a vet wrap a duckling's broken leg and it never healed because it was taped across its body and too immobilized. Apparently bone has to scrape against bone to stimulate healing so my duck may have had just enough movement without causing reinjury.

I removed the paper tape cast in layers by first freeing her ankle. Her foot was discolored at tbe time of the break and it was not responsive to pressure but it healed beautifully and she had full use of it when the tape came off a month after her leg had been hanging useless. After two weeks of using the foot for balance while she hopped on one leg, I removed tape splinting her leg to her body. This allowed her to use her hip but her knee was still taped in a bent position. After two more weeks I untaped the knee and just left the tape around the femur. I then started her on physical therapy in a bucket of water. As the tape got wet I gradually peeled off layers until I got it all removed. Her feathers were a mess and she lost a fair share but she kept her leg.

I had her in the house for awhile longer to make sure she mended completely and then found a home for her where she would be a pet duck and make babies with one of my drakes tnat went with her. I assume she will hatch ducklings this year but I have not checked with her owner to get an update. She is a beautiful bluehead Australian Spotted duck and the drake was either bluehead or silverhead, plus she got a silverhead hen to make a breeding trio. I would love to get some of their offspring back in trade.

I know this is an old post, but your post was helpful and I could use advice. I'm a new duck owner and got a flock of six one year old Anconas a little over a week ago. Since day one, one of the females has been limping and rocking heavily back and fourth. Her right leg also swings out when she walks. After contacting the prior owners, it seems to be an injury that happened in transport to my property. It wasn't too bad at first and I let her free range with the others during the day, but after that I restricted all six to a dog run to keep her from running around. Starting today, I have them in a small yard that allows the others to forage but stay close enough for her to be comfortable enough to lay by herself and watch. She still will get up and stay with the flock though, but she's definitely walking with a stagger and will attempt flying instead when the others get too far away. I picked her up once to try looking for an injury and couldn't identify what the problem was. My main issue in treating her is that all the ducks are afraid of me and its hard to get close enough to pick up. I am able to guide them from their daytime yard/run/pasture to their nighttime enclosure in my barn, but getting in grabbing distance is a challenge. Let alone when I finally get her I can't hold her still for long!

How should I go about even attempting treatment on her? Is there a safe way to sedate a duck? I'm also thinking I really do need to just separate her because the two sexually active drakes are not helping, but I'm a bit worried that she'd be too stressed from separation. I was also considering separating the two drakes apart from the four females. Really, any advice on how to proceed would be appreciated! I feel I could do the splint if I had a cooperating duck as I'm experienced in similar first aid on dogs, but ducks are completely new to me

I did also start dissolving 100mg niacin per gallon of water to their night time drinking water four nights ago, but have seen no improvement
post #33 of 34
My duck was dragging her leg so it was obviously broken. You may be dealing with a tendon injury. There is a tendon that runs down the back of the leg and it sits in a groove in the back of the joint. If the tendon slips to the side the leg can twist out of joint. You will need to roll the tendon back in place and then tape above and below the joint to keep the tendon in the groove. You might need to straighten the leg to help the tendon stay in position until it holds on its own. You can tape the joint in a bent position if the tendon stays but it will need to be free to bend with tape above and below the joint for a period of time before taking the tape off completely to strengthen the joint without allowing the tendon to slip out of the groove.

The hen will need to be separated from the drakes so they are not putting stress on the joint trying to mount her. If she is bonded with the hens, they can stay with her or you can try just keeping one hen with her and letting the other two stay with the drakes. It sounds like she may stress out too much if you separate her from the flock completely but see what seems to keep her the most relaxed.

I have repaired slipped tendons successfully before but I have also failed to get the tendon to remain in place if the joint has twisted. It helps to catch it quickly and keep the minimum support needed without it becoming more injured. There is a surgical repair that can be done but I did not attempt it with my failure, I tried splinting the joint and when that did not work I ended up puttung the bird down.
post #34 of 34
To address the separation questions, I would try confining her to a kennel by herself, but keep her around the other ducks. Maybe keep her in a kennel inside the duck house/coop, where they will still be able to see each other. That's what I did and it worked well. I also took my duck out twice daily, carried her to the pool & let her swim for a little. Good Luck!
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